Sunday, December 30, 2007

Raiding as Frost

Quick Stats

Most Common Spec
10/0/49 - Clearcast deep frost
Gains 200% damage from critical hits.
Spell Hit Cap: 164 (126 for Frostbolt)



So. Raiding as frost. Can it be done?

Yes, yes it can. And well, I might add.

All three main mage specs for raiding (here we're discussing raid arcane, raid fire, and raid frost), play differently.

Arcane, essentially, specs the mage into a balls-to-the-wall Burst DPS spec, mana be damned. Going full bore Arcane Blast with cooldowns blown will put the mage OOM in a matter of seconds, but his DPS will be insane. Utterly insane. Until his mana bar goes limp.
Think of it like the spec designed to kill the trash in raids as fast as possible.
Picture it like a Drag Racer, designed to reach speeds of excess of 240 mph, but can only maintain this for a half mile.

Fire is the opposite. It specs the mage as far away from burst DPS as possible from mage, and essentially specializes the mage for boss fights. Thats why it's so popular, "the" raid spec if you will. Any fight thats under 10 seconds is a waste of a fire mages time. This spec is designed for the long haul.
Think of it like the spec designed to fight the boss mobs in raids efficiently.
Picture it like a massive trucking... truck... designed to reach speeds of no more than 80, 90 mph, but can maintain it for almost a thousand miles.

Frost is the middle ground here. It does not have the same amount of burst damage arcane is capable of, and it does not have the long haul power that fire does. It has better burst damage than fire, and has far greater longevity than arcane.
Think of it like the spec that tries to find a comfortable middle ground between boss fights and trash killing.
Think of it like a wee little Toyota sports car that can go 140 mph, and keep it up for a couple hundred miles.

So, in the effort of providing the information that will help you decide what car is best for you, I present: Raiding Frost.

Firstly, your spell rotation will look something like: Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt.... you get the idea.
Frostbolt is your spell. Use it, love it, bind it to every key on your number pad and mash your fist against it.

Secondly, USE YOUR FUCKING COOLDOWNS!! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!
Get a giant USB "Big Red Button", bind "Summon Water Elemental" to it, and every time that cooldown is up, YOU PUSH DA BIG RED BUTTON.
Get some spell damage trinkets, and spam the HELL out of those things. When Icy Veins gets released, HIT THAT MUTHER TRUCKER EVERY FRIGGIN CHANCE YOU GET.

The power of Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt is rather limited.
A lot of the true power of Frost's raid DPS is getting the absolute most out of your cooldowns.
The Water Elemental is a significant source of DPS, about 350 DPS when you, the frost mage, have around 750 spell damage.
If you don't take advantage of it, you are a magnificent moron. USE IT. LOVE IT. Trash pull going down and you need to spam sheep? Summon Elemental, send it after one of the other targets, sheep your mob. You get some nice DPS.
Standard trash pull, expected to go for a minute and a half? Summon your Elemental, sick it on something. When it expires, Cold Snap and get it right back out again.
350 DPS is a lot to lose out on, simply because you're too lazy to push a button.
Quite bluntly, a water elemental will account for a good 10-15% of your total DPS when you actually use it. Did you do 200k damage in a boss fight? That coulda been 220k if you had used the water elemental.
Timing the water elemental will be the hardest skill to raiding frost. It has low health, and no ways to protect itself. Therefore, literally any AoE effect will pretty much kill it outright.

Similar to fire, frost also has its own debuff. Whereas the Scorch debuff increases all fire damage by 15%, the frost one increases the critical strike chance of frost spells by 10%.
Just like the fire version of the debuff, you want to have it up as much as possible (yes, the water elemental gains the 10% improved crit as well).
However, you don't need to cast something besides your standard nuke for this debuff. Keep right on frostbolting away, it will build on its own.
However, due to the lower duration of this debuff (15 seconds) it will be harder to keep it up and running at all times during movement fights.
Keep in mind that Ice Lance does refresh the debuff, so use that whenever movement is required. Never, ever use an Ice Lance when a Frostbolt could be used instead. The damage difference is so huge, that spending a GCD on an Ice Lance when you could be casting a Frostbolt is a serious waste of time.
Only use it when movement is required, and you simply do not have the time for a frostbolt.


There is an interesting thing to note about frostbolt. It is, mathematically speaking, one of the oddest spells a mage has. It has two unique quirks that no other spell has. First, it receives what the mage community has dubbed a "ghost hit" from elemental precision. Namely, frostbolt receives a total of 6% spell hit from the talent rather than the 3% everything else gets. This is most likely due to the second quirk.
Most spells can do one of three things when they are casted at a mob. They can "miss" (which will show up on screen as "resist), be resisted in the technical sense (do partial damage), or hit, doing full damage.
Frostbolt is, mathematically, a binary spell. This means it can only do one of two things. It can either hit, or it can miss.
Non-binary spells can kind of hit, landing what is caused a "partial resist", whereby some of the damage is shrugged off the mob you casted at.
Like, if fireball is partially resisted, instead of doing the 2200 damage its supposed to do, it will do a measly 1100 damage. You get the picture?
Frostbolt CANNOT do that. It can only hit and miss, and cannot be partially resisted. Which means that when you cast frostbolt, it is unaffected by level based magic resistances.

(Level based magic resistance is thus: when mobs have a higher level than you, they have an innate spell resist to anything you cast. Mathematically, a level 73 mob (like a boss mob) will have a resist value of 24. This works out to about a 6% resist rate. This level based spell resist cannot be overcome by any means. GG, spell penetration.)

While both arcane and fire magic will see ~6% of their spells be resisted or partially resisted because of this level based magical resistance, frostbolts will never see that. They will always, mathematically speaking, hit 99% of the time.

Frostbolt, oddly enough, does NOT proc Judgment of Wisdom, that handy Paladin buff that some paladins toss on mobs so the casters can snag some more mana.


Anyways, there ya go. Raiding Frost. Make sure you have the Frozen Shadoweave set, and go kick some ass.

72 comments:

ghostkid said...

As you know I've been learning magery from your blog for a little while now, and have read how much you favored Frost for PvP and not for PvE. It is nice to see that a Frost Mage can raid. My little (lvl 42) mage is Frost to level.

An old Frost mage from Duskwood, Edifus, has 61 points in Frost. His guild finished the game. I'm sure he can't wait for the expansion. I only bring it up because he's the only mage I've ever seen with 61 points in Frost. He is, however, a psycho uber-mage.

http://armory.worldofwarcraft.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Uldum&n=Edifus

Keep the info coming, Euri. And, as always, thank you to all of the mages for the table of goodies.

Cassettes said...

Interesting, I might have to show this to a mage guildie who loves frost but has to respec for the raid. He also loves to smash his face against the keyboard.

Seper said...

thx for the post.. just found it now..

I'm a pvp frost mage.. with some raiding talents. (Like clearcasting). I can't get the other mages to believe in me enough to let me raid frost over another spec/class. (I have a 70 druid who is my main though. But generally that doesn't factor in.)

I'm trying to get my mage pve geared so that I can show these fire chumps what real dps looks like. But i'm not being given a chance so its tough.

The WE can be great CC for aoe pulls as well. An extra frost nova can save alot of people.

Last thing to note.. have you ever been frost and grouped with another frost mage? Its like when 2 fire mages are together.. dps goes up sooo much and sooo fast.

Frost = win.

Thx again.

Hyouzan said...

@Seper

My mage has been frost most of his existence and has raided Kara, Gruul's, SSC and TK as frost. The big difference with frost over fire is you don't have other mages helping you keep scorch up. You biggest advantage is using your Water Elemental and now Icy Veins.

Matter of fact I has the highest DPS as frost yesterday during our Gruul's Lair run.

I say if they are making you respec because they don't know any better then sneak it in. Spec for frost and run Kara. Show them your DPS as frost can be comparable if not higher then the fire mages.

Euripedes said...

Ack, something went horribly wrong with the HTML here.

Gimme a sec fixing it.

Anonymous said...

personally, i am built 18/0/43
and i lead the damagemeters magewise in all of our raids, be it Gruul, Eye or SSC, even on Hydross i lead, because of AEing in his poison phase.
and i am no tailor, like our Fire/Arcane mages, they use Spellcloth set, etc. :)

Frost is a very good raiding setup, if you pair it with the right equip, Spellcrit is the way to choose, imho
and it works for me

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm still really new at this and a lot of the terminology is quite over my head...maybe I should know this, but what is "DPS"?

Rylan said...

^ Google is your friend.

DPS = damage per second

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Silvertouch said...

Love Frost spec, not looking forward to having to respec for raiding.

My elemental Sploooshie and I have become best buddies, I'll miss him too much /bawl.

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